This week I messed up at work. It happens and life goes on but it never changes the feeling of disappointment in oneself. No, we can’t be perfect, but when your job description is to try your damnedest to be, the bar gets set high.
The frustration I felt this time was, at first, that I had failed in my job. I was not perfect. Then, however, the frustration was that I was not perfect, but that it wasn’t even for something that I had been spending my life striving towards.
I fell into this particular job and for the most part I love it but I cannot pretend that it fulfills me creatively. Someday, maybe. Or maybe not, ever. I like it enough to stay and keep trying and find out. In the meantime I get angry at myself because all of my personal creative projects have gone by the wayside.
What personal creative projects? I don’t remember anymore.
I don’t even journal these days. I haven’t for a year and a half. I used to journal every day. I would do it on the train during the comings and goings, but I can’t journal while I’m driving. I don’t find time otherwise. I make excuses not to. Lots and lots of excuses.
Last night I laid in bed thinking about how creative I used to be, a million years ago when I was in high school. It wasn’t the last time I was creative, but it was the last time I was superfluously creative. I drew in every notebook. I had pages and pages of poetry. I wrote short stories with (semi) abandon.
I was maybe never very good at finishing things though. Short projects - projects I could leave out and come back to – those I could finish. Those I would finish with a flourish. Edit, maybe never but who cared, the creative juices were still flowing. I dream about a room of my own that I can make messy.
Once, I wrote a series of anonymous love poems and left them in the mailbox of the hot lead editor for the school newspaper. I thought because he was a writer and I was a writer we would connect. He never sought me out and I never came out of hiding. We never fell in love and got married. I don’t remember his last name anymore, though I’m sure I scrawled it coupled with my first name many hundreds of times.
But out of sight, out of mind seems to be my biggest problem. If it’s not open, right in front of me, I won’t do it. If it’s not in my hand or under my finger, it goes by the wayside.
For several months I have been okay with that. I accepted that maybe my true calling was always to do what I am doing – maybe that is what I am good at. But then weeks like this happen – where I feel so under appreciated and worthless. Where my best isn’t good enough, in fact it’s crap. I’ve disappointed people who ultimately don’t even think about me when the day is done, and yet I am supposed to work harder now for their approval.
It’s weeks like this I don’t want to be working for someone else, I don’t want to be underneath people who aren't at all grateful for the work that I do. I want to be putting that effort into my own projects – into my creativity and into my family and my home.
I want to be. I’m still not.
These are just things I feel and think about. I get over them, then, and I move on.